Great Gatlinburg Day Trips: Blue Ridge Parkway

Subscribe to A Day in the SmokiesTake one day of your stay in Gatlinburg to explore the beauty of the nearby Blue Ridge Parkway! There are tons of interesting places to stop and stretch your legs! In fact, some of these sights could take up a whole day on their own! Here are a few noteworthy suggestions!

Tweetsie RailroadTweetsie Railroad
“North Carolina’s first Wild West Adventure Theme Park featuring a three mile steam-powered train ride. Shopping, live entertainment, amusement rides, a Deer Park, and gold panning. Open May through October 9 AM to 6 PM.”

The Blowing RockThe Blowing Rock
“The Blowing Rock, North Carolina’s oldest travel attraction since 1933, is an immense cliff 4,000 feet above sea level overhanging Johns River Gorge 3,000 feet below.” “Spectacular views, gardens and gift shops enjoyed while strolling along our walking trail. Admission required. Open year round weather permitting. January- March weekends only.”

Grandfather MountainGrandfather Mountain
“Grandfather Mountain inspires awe through an abundance of natural wonders. Designated by the United Nations as an International Biosphere Reserve and protected forever by the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation, there is nowhere else on Earth that you can enjoy such a variety of mountain life in one amazing place.” Open year round.

Chimney RockChimney Rock
“Chimney Rock is the natural fulfillment of your trip to the North Carolina mountains. Take a deep breath of refreshing mountain air, become invigorated by our hiking trails, and let your cares fade away in the cool mist of Hickory Nut Falls. This is the perfect place to reconnect with nature and spend time with family and friends. Only minutes from Lake Lure, Chimney Rock offers the best of the mountains in one place – spectacular 75-mile views, hiking trails for all ages, a 404-foot waterfall, a variety of special events and much more. Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park is proud to be part of the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area and is located just 25 miles southeast of Asheville, North Carolina.”

Folk Art CenterFolk Art Center
The Folk Art Center is home to the Southern Highland Craft Guild.  The center showcases the finest in traditional and contemporary crafts of the Southern Appalachians.  In addition to an Eastern National bookstore and Blue Ridge Parkway information desk, the center houses three galleries, a library and Allanstand Craft Shop.  Beginning in March each year, visitors can see live craft demonstrations daily in the Folk Art Center lobby.  The Folk Art Center is located in east Asheville on the Blue Ridge Parkway, a five minute drive from downtown.”

Biltmore EstateBiltmore Estate
“At its core, Biltmore will always have the natural beauty of the mountains as well as the majestic house and gardens to inspire us and allow us to escape from the every day. Biltmore is still family-owned, and we are passionate about our mission of preservation through self-sufficiency—a philosophy embraced before the first stone was ever put in place. We remain self-sustaining through innovation, creative thinking, and listening to our guests who continue to tell us they want more ways to connect with Biltmore.”

The Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor CenterThe Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center
“Explore the natural beauty and authentic mountain culture of the Blue Ridge. Visit the new Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center at Milepost 384- featuring information desks, exhibits, a 22-foot interactive map of the Parkway and a 24-minute movie.”

The NC ArboretumThe NC Arboretum
“Just as our experience of nature is intimate, visitors to The North Carolina Arboretum connect with plants in personal ways that are as diverse and rich as the land itself. Whether you enjoy strolling through gardens, exploring exhibits, enriching your mind or hiking and biking, the Arboretum offers activities for all ages.” “Within 434 acres, the Arboretum offers 65 acres of cultivated gardens, 10 miles of hiking and biking trails, and the finest Bonsai collection in the Southeastern U.S. Ongoing exhibits of science, art and culture are featured in the Baker Exhibit Center, which also serves as the visitor information center.”

Cherokee, NCCherokee, NC
We eagerly await your arrival and the opportunity to share our culture with you. There are many things to do in Cherokee – attend the breathtaking outdoor Mountainside Theatre for a performance of “Unto These Hills…a retelling” with the whole family, visit the Museum with its new expanded research and education wing, buy a handmade piece of history at the arts and crafts cooperative Qualla Arts & Crafts Mutual Inc., experience a working Village with blowgun demonstrations, mask carvings and more – including the “Hands-On Cherokee” experiential learning classes.”

ERA In The SmokiesThis blog is sponsored in part by ERA In The Smokies Realty and Rentals located at 207 Parkway in Gatlinburg, TN. For more information on a Gatlinburg Cabin for your Smoky Mountain Vacation or all the reasons to move to the Smokies, call 1-800-309-0277. ERA In The Smokies is a leader in chalet and Log Cabin Rentals and Real Estate Sales in the Gatlinburg area.

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